Physical Education

P.E. Areas of Improvement

As part of our Active Flag journey, a survey was taken at the beginning of the year to establish the current view of P.E. in our school and where improvements can be made. This survey included the most and least popular strands being taught in the school at present, CPD completed in P.E. in recent years by teachers, assessment in P.E. and the steps to be taken to rectify any areas needing improvement. All teachers found the results very interesting. We have taken some steps as a result of this survey:
  • A whole school plan has been drawn up for Physical Education in our school to ensure all 5 strands are being covered and children are being taught all fundamental movement skills. We examined our practice and prioritised inclusiveness and accessibility for all to ensure that children with special needs can play a full role in all PE opportunities. This will increase teacher collaboration in planning, give more direction to P.E. in general and foster inclusiveness in our school.
  • All teachers have completed a four hour course in gymnastics thanks to Gymnastics Ireland. This course has given teachers more confidence in teaching a strand which can sometimes be daunting and unknown. Aimi Baker explained the movement framework for educational gymnastics and the relationship between space and body. She also helped us to audit our gymnastics equipment. Our staff is now more assured and confident teaching this strand and has taken all of her ideas and guidelines on board.
  • A very comprehensive orienteering pack has been compiled throughout the year for all classes which will in turn make the Outdoor and Adventure Strand much more accessible for teachers. These resources will be stored in our new P.E. resource boxes in the staffroom.
  • Assessment in P.E. has been a topic of discussion amongst teachers this year. Assessment ideas other than observation are being taken on board and made more aware to staff. Every child’s progress in PE is discussed with parents at PT meetings and will be included in reports.
  • In addition to this, school funds have gone towards buying extra equipment during the year such as bibs, new hurdles, basketballs and also painting a running track on the senior yard.
  • All teachers follow the PSSI (Primary Schools’ Sports Initiative) lesson plans and guidelines. These will be stored in the set of boxes we have developed for teachers to avail of in the staffroom. These boxes include P.E. resources for each class level e.g. 1st -2 nd class.

PE Timetable

The school has an overall PE timetable ensuring that every class has 1 hour of timetabled PE per week. Free time slots are also shown on the timetable allowing teachers to make use of the hall for discretionary time.  The school now teaches PE as 2 x 30 minute classes as opposed to in a 1 hour block, thus allowing pupils to be active on two separate occasions during the week. The school has also introduced a standardised PE timetable. Teachers teach the same PE strand at the same time every month thus facilitating the set-up of equipment and providing them with the opportunity to share ideas and resources with one another.


School Grounds and Equipment

Our school is very lucky to have such extensive grounds for physical activity. We have three yards, the junior, middle and senior yard. The senior yard also doubles up as basketball court and running track. We have two full sized pitches which are used for a variety of sports and activities such as soccer, Gaelic football, hurling, and cross country. We also have our school hall and equipment room.

This year’s Readalong raised enough funds to enable us to resurface our junior yard. The yard is now a safer environment for the boys to engage in physical activity. We await the yard paintings which will include hopscotch, snakes, games etc. We hope that this will encourage the boys to stay active on yard and they will enjoy their break-times even more!